War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0158 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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it to you, retaining only one company to act as messengers for the corps. As Major-General McClellan had ordered certain dispositions of the cavalry, I trust that you will, if possible, order the regiment to rejoin me without delay. I have no other cavalry with me.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding Fourth Corps.



DAY. Burnt Ordinary, Va., May 9, 1862.

Brigadier-General Smith will picket the front and right and left flanks as far to the rear as Mrs. Slater's house.

Brigadier-General Couch will picket the right and left flanks from Mrs. Slater's house half way from his own headquarters to those of Brigadier-General Casey, being particular to throw pickets well out on the road leading toward the Chickahominy River. His pickets will connect with those from General Smith's command.

Brigadier-General Casey will picket the right and left flanks from the pickets of General Couch and the rear as far back as the headquarters of General Keim last night.

No countersign having been furnished from Headquarters Army of the Potomac, no person will be allowed to cross the lines on the front or flanks, but messengers coming up or going down to the rear will be admitted on being properly identified.

By order of Brigadier General Keyes:


Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.


Burnt Ordinary, Va., May 9, 1862 - 11.30 p. m.

Colonel A. V. COLBURN,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

SIR: In reply to your communication in regard to the march of my command to-day, I have the honor to state, for the information of the major-general commanding the Army of the Potomac, that the order for the march was issued in accordance with instructions received. A copy of that order is inclosed. During the day, under verbal instructions from the same source, transmitted to me by the Duc de Chartres, Generals Couch and Casey were directed to push forward their troops. A memorandum to that effect was sent to Major-General McClellan by my aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Jackson, who reported that he had shown it to the commanding general in person, who expressed his approval, as I am informed by Lieutenant Jackson. I gave no order for General Couch's wagons to pass General Smith's wagons, and I am at a loss to know how the mistake occurred which has brought me under the imputation of having disobeyed the orders of my commanding general. I will endeavor to ascertain of by any mistake General Couch received such an order, as I am entirely ignorant that any such order was given.

As I deem that my official character is very gravely assailed, I beg that the commanding general will do me the favor to put me in posses-